Physics

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Studying Physics means learning about the fundamental laws of nature that determine how everything in the entire universe works. From supermassive black holes, to subatomic virtual particles that pop in and out of existence, to a sleepy sloth hanging off a vine in the jungle – absolutely everything is made of matter, stores and transfers energy and interacts through forces.

If you have an enquiring mind, and enjoy asking why things happen – at the deepest level – then Physics will help you find the answers. Physics forms the basis of all modern technology and holds the future to global wellbeing.

 

COURSE CONTENT:

Mechanics (motion, forces, energy and power)
Materials (fluids, viscosity and material properties) Waves and the nature of light (incl. quantum physics)

Circuits and electrical conductivity

Nuclear physics (radioactive decay, fission and fusion)

Thermal physics (radiative power, thermodynamics)

Electric and magnetic fields

Particle physics (particle detectors and accelerators)

Circular motion, gravity and orbits

Astrophysics and cosmology

 

ASSESSMENT: three written exam papers, all taken at the end of the 2-year course.

Papers 1&2 will last 1hr 45mins and each only assesses half of the course content.

Paper 3 will last 2hr30mins, will contain questions drawn from the entire course, and will have a particular focus on practical and experimental techniques.

 

PRACTICAL ENDORSEMENT IN PHYSICS

You will engage in hands-on practical work and investigative/ experimental projects throughout the 2 year course. The exams assess your understanding of the practical and experimental techniques taught. Your ability to actually carry out experiments is assessed in a separate qualification called the Practical Endorsement. This is assessed by your teacher based on your performance during practical tasks throughout the course over the two years. The practical endorsement is reported on your final A-level certificate alongside your A-level grade, as either “Pass” or “Not reported”.

CAREER POSSIBILITES

A-level Physics is highly valued by employers and Higher Education providers as it demonstrates an ability to understand, analyse and manipulate complex quantitative information and numerical data. The skills and knowledge acquired during A-level Physics is immediately applicable to further study or employment in:

 

·         scientific research and technical work

·         medicine and healthcare (A-level Physics can be highly beneficial for medical applications)

·         engineering (mechanical, structural, electronic, communications, acoustic … all forms of engineering!)

·         established and emerging technologies

·         computing, ICT and web-based enterprise

 

·      computer programming and design

·      design, construction and architecture

·      geology, climate science, meteorology

·      finance, accountancy, logistics, economics and business

·      the energy industry

·      journalism, broadcasting, media, education

·      law (especially technical law)

GCSE GRADE PROFILE

Students who study this subject will ideally achieve a Grade 6-6 in GCSE Combined Science OR a 6 in GCSE Physics, although we are happy to accept Grade 5 students (5-5 or 5-6 in Combined Science) who complete a GCSE/A-Level transition package over the summer holidays to a high enough standard.

Students must also achieve a minimum of a 5 in Mathematics, due the high mathematical demand of this subject.